Business Consulting BlogWorking Hours in the Philippines

October 13, 2023

In the dynamic landscape of the Philippines’ business environment, employers and employees alike need to be well-versed in the intricacies of working hours and related regulations. The Labor Code of the Philippines, under Article 82, lays down the foundations for these provisions, but it’s vital to understand the nuances, exceptions, and responsibilities that come with it.

Normal Working Hours

As per the Labor Code, the standard hours of work for employees must not exceed eight (8) hours per day, with an obligatory one (1) hour break for lunch. It’s important to note that Philippine law does not prohibit work periods shorter than eight hours. What constitutes working hours includes any time when an employee is required to be on duty or at a designated workplace, any time when an employee is permitted to work, and even short rest periods taken during working hours.

Meal Periods

Employers are mandated to provide their employees with a minimum of sixty (60) minutes for regular meals, typically scheduled around 12:00 p.m. during day shifts.

Night Shift Differential Pay

Employees working between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. are entitled to a night shift premium of not less than 10% of their regular wage for each hour worked during this period.

Overtime Work

Overtime work is permitted, but employees must be compensated accordingly. Overtime pay consists of an additional compensation equivalent to the regular wage, plus at least 25% thereof, for work performed beyond eight hours a day. If such work falls on a holiday or rest day, an additional compensation equivalent to the rate of the first eight hours, plus at least 30% thereof, is required.

Undertime Not Offset by Overtime

The Labor Code explicitly states that undertime work on a regular business day cannot be offset by overtime work on any other day. This is because the hourly rate for overtime is higher than the hours missed when an employee works for less than eight hours.

Emergency Overtime Work

There are specific scenarios in which an employee may be required to perform overtime work:

  1. During a state of war or a declared national or local emergency.
  2. To prevent loss of life or property during imminent danger to public safety.
  3. Urgent work is needed to prevent significant loss or damage.
  4. To protect perishable goods.
  5. Completing work before the eighth hour is necessary to prevent disruption to the employer’s business.

Employer’s Right to Require Work on Rest Days

Employers have the authority to require their employees to work on rest days in various circumstances, including:

  1. During emergencies like accidents, fires, natural disasters, or calamities.
  2. Urgent work on machinery, equipment, or installations.
  3. Abnormal workloads due to special circumstances.
  4. Protection of perishable goods.
  5. Continuous operations are necessary to avoid irreparable harm to the business.

Employee Rights: Weekly Rest Day, Holiday Pay, and Service Incentive Leave

Employees in the Philippines have specific rights:

  1. Weekly Rest Day: Employers must provide each employee with a rest period of at least twenty-four (24) consecutive hours after every six (6) consecutive workdays. The weekly rest day can be determined through collective bargaining agreements or employee preferences based on religious grounds.
  2. Holiday Pay: Employees are entitled to their daily wage on regular holidays. They should receive double their regular rate if required to work on a holiday.
  3. Service Incentive Leave: Employees with at least one year of service are eligible for a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay, subject to certain exceptions.

Mandatory Compensation for Rest Days, Sunday, or Holiday Work

Article 93 of the Labor Code specifies that employees who work on their scheduled rest day should receive an additional compensation of at least thirty percent (30%) of their regular wage. For those with irregular work schedules, the same compensation applies for work on Sundays and holidays. Special holiday work warrants a similar additional compensation. Collective bargaining agreements or employment contracts may stipulate higher premium pay rates.

Service Charges

Service charges collected by establishments like hotels and restaurants are subject to distribution, with 85% allocated to covered employees and 15% to management. Employees’ shares should be distributed equally. If service charges are abolished, the covered employees’ portion should be integrated into their wages.

Understanding and adhering to the Philippines’ labor laws and regulations concerning working hours is crucial for businesses and their employees.

Are You an Executive Seeking Assistance?

Do you have a registered business, or are you an HR professional seeking help? For expert guidance and consultation on this topic, consider reaching out to our team of HR Consultants or Labor Lawyers who specialize in Philippine labor laws. Please contact us through one of the following channels:

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